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70-200 Vr Having Trouble Keeping It Steady!!!

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Debbie H, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. Debbie H

    Debbie H

    Aug 23, 2007
    PROBLEMS handholding the 70-200VR. I'm going to be a 2nd shooter at a wedding July 26th. Outside under a HUGE company pavilion ( it is as long or longer than my house and 35ft or more in width) at 7:00pm and the sun is setting fast.
    That is another issue I will posting in lighting. To get back to the 70-200VR, D200, Flash bracket, SB800 that is quite a load to handhold. I have tried to handhold it at 1/60 and 1/125sec, but I'm getting sharper pictures at 1/200 and 1/250. I have practiced with the bride which I have known since she was 5 years old.
    Even though it is 7:00pm and still quite a bit of sunlight when she gets to where she will be standing when she gets married it is quite dark but still quite a bit of ambient light. At 1/60 or 1/125 I'm actually getting better lighting because of the slow shutter speed but I did have some blurry pics also.
    I want to be stationary with this combo so I have tried it on a monopod and I'm getting better results but gosh that can be a real nuisance. I love the sharpness of the 70-200 but my other combo is the D300 and the 17-55, flash bracket, SB600, which is a lot easier to handhold of course. I'm wondering if I should just stay with that combo for the wedding? Also thought about using the 85 1.8 on the D200. HELP!!!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 9, 2008
  2. Something I would try would be to place a camera strap around the neck, placing the other end under the tripod mounting foot. May be it eases to support all that weight.

    D300, D200, MB-D10 and MB-200
    Primes: 10,5 2.8 fisheye, 50D 1.4, Tokina 100 AT-X
    Zoom : 12-24 (Nikkor),17-55 2.8, 18-200VR and 70-200VR
    SB-800, TC Kenko Pro300 1.4, Manfrotto 190MF4+804RC Head

  3. Debbie H

    Debbie H

    Aug 23, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 9, 2008
  4. dan1son


    Sep 24, 2007
    You say you're having some trouble... Is the only problem that some have camera shake? Or is it also difficult to physically hold the camera for the entire length of the ceremony? I know it got heavy fairly quickly for me, which never helps the shake.

    I don't own a 70-200VR, but I have used my father's a number of times and can tell you, it is quite a beast to hold for a good length of time, even without a bracket and flash. I had very good luck down to about 1/50th (at 200mm) with probably 90% consistency, but when I went below that it was pretty hit or miss (did get a couple at 1/15th at 200mm, but probably 20% were decent). At those shutter speeds you're going to get some fuzzy ones. Snap a couple of each shot in a row... should minimize misses.

    My suggestion is to hold your left elbow pressed on top of your left hip to support most of the weight. As a woman you actually have an advantage there since your hip bones protrude further out. It's the same technique marksmen use and it works remarkably well. Not only will it make it easier to hold it for longer periods of time, it'll also keep the lens steadier.
  5. Debbie H

    Debbie H

    Aug 23, 2007
    Thanks! those are good suggestions. I can hold it, camera shake is the problem. The elbow against the hip is a good idea, but I'm only 5'2 and weigh 100lb and sometimes below that. I do work out so I do have strength in my arms but it is camera shake I can feel it. Debbie
  6. dan1son


    Sep 24, 2007
    I wasn't trying to say you couldn't hold the camera :smile:. Hand holding for a length of time is always difficult (unless you do it A LOT). The elbow on the hip thing takes some practice since you might need to lean forward or backwards a little to get a good platform depending on hip height/elbow length. It'll feel pretty awkward at first, but it becomes natural with practice.

    Here's a relatively decent article about it in the shooting sense, and it has a female model to give you an idea of what I'm talking about. You'll be surprised how steady you can hold it after learning this technique. Next step is breathing techniques :tongue:.
  7. moffo


    Oct 20, 2005
    Central TX
    Be sure to cut out coffee and Mountain Dew!
  8. Maybe an oversimplistic solution, but I would swap the bodies in your combos. The 300 with the 70-200 would enable higher ISO shooting which would yield higher shutter speeds at any given aperture. Stick the 17-50 on the 200.

    Also, the 85 on the 200 is not a bad idea. Even under under a large canopy, I would imagine most of your shooting will be at the shorter end of the 70-200...
  9. drjiveturkey

    drjiveturkey Guest

    Are you making sure you are giving enough time for the VR to kick in?
  10. Debbie H

    Debbie H

    Aug 23, 2007

    I will go there right now and check out the technique. Thanks!! Debbie:smile:
  11. Debbie H

    Debbie H

    Aug 23, 2007
    LOL!! Now how did you know that I drink coffee and Diet Mountain Dew.:smile:

    Yes your right. I'm going to play with that combo also.

    Sure am, wish the problem was that easy. :smile: Thanks!! Debbie
  12. monopod
  13. Drifter


    May 7, 2006
    West Virginia
    Monopod or loose the bracket with the 70-200 set up and mount your flash directly to the camera.
  14. Hi Debbie,

    I used the D300 with an 18 - 200 VR lens at my Daughters wedding in Cyprus. So light was not too much of a problem. But at the end of this month I will be taking pictures of my Sons wedding in the UK.

    My concern was the light in the Church as no flash will be allowed. So I waited for a suitable day and took this picture:

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    This is the same but cropped and tweaked:

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    F4.8 at 1/8th and 800 iso. The shadow on the back wall has been created by the small light in front of him. Oh at BTW, he is holding up the date of the wedding! Don't tell his Wife to be, but he got it wrong first time!

    I guess your lens is the F2.8 version so should give you oodles more stability. For me I was very pleased with this outcome.

    Best regards

  15. rampal


    May 4, 2008
    @Newbury, UK
    are you right eye or left eye? I'm left eye and have been sweating today handhelding the 70-200 running behind some deers... :smile:

    if you are lefty, you can let the D200/D300 rest on your left shoulder (but you have to have the grip in) and put your left arm under the lens and your elbow touching your body....

    take a look at this video from Joe McNally: da grip
  16. jafo


    Jun 11, 2008
    Chatsworth, CA
    Weird, that's all I drink too. :biggrin:

    Coffee at work and Diet Mountain Dew at home (buy them in those "refrigerator" packs). Hehe.
  17. Debbie H

    Debbie H

    Aug 23, 2007
    Thanks Dave!!:smile:

    I have thought about that might try it. Thanks!! Debbie:smile:
  18. Debbie H

    Debbie H

    Aug 23, 2007
    Nice images Chris. I used to have the 18-200 Vr try mounting the 70-200 Vr on your camera.:eek:  Big difference!! Thanks and good luck on your wedding!!:smile:
  19. Debbie H

    Debbie H

    Aug 23, 2007

    Going there now to check it out.:smile:
  20. I guess you using the D300/70-200 combo is equivalent to me using my D3/300 f2.8 VR. They are heavy combos and I need a monopod with mine.

    BTW, I just shot a wedding last weekend (as second shooter) and I used the D3/70-200 for many pleasing shots. Handholding that combo for hours was tiring by night.

    Here is an example, f2.8, iso 1400. 1/60 @ 200mm:
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
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